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what is cross training

Cross Training: Definition, Benefits, Activities & Risks

If you enjoy doing more than one type of exercise, there’s a chance you already incorporate cross training into your routine. Combining different exercises is a great way to add variety and increase overall fitness. 

There are specific exercises that can complement your favourite or main activity, whether that’s running, cycling, swimming or football, which can reduce risk of injury and improve your performance by challenging different muscle groups.

We’ve covered everything you need to know, from the advantages and disadvantages of cross training, to how to make the most out of it! 

In this article we will look at:

But if you’re already a champion of cross training, and confident in your cardio capabilities, then perhaps a career in fitness is your next step.

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What is Cross Training? 

what is cross training

To give you a straightforward cross-training definition, it is an exercise regime that uses other forms of exercises to complement a main activity. The combination should work various parts of the body, especially muscle groups that your main activity doesn’t focus on, to avoid imbalance. 

Before choosing your extra activity (or activities), you should consider how it will supplement and benefit your main form of exercise. Adding different types of training into your routine can help you achieve a more rounded level of fitness. 

To help us define cross training, let’s look at an example! 

If your main activity is running and you run four times a week, you could swap one running day for another activity, or add an additional workout session during the week. 

The activity you choose will depend on what you want to improve for better running, such as flexibility, lower-body strength or core strength.

For flexibility, yoga or swimming would make a great cross training exercise, as these extend and work your muscles without putting unnecessary or excessive strain on them. This is just one of a vast array of benefits of flexibility training.

If you’re looking to improve or strengthen your muscles, we’d recommend free weights training - all good gyms will have a section devoted to free weights such as dumbbells, kettlebells and plate machines (such as squat racks).

What are the Benefits of Cross Training?

Now that we’ve got our cross-training definition, let’s explore the benefits and exactly what makes it a successful workout routine! 

There are many advantages of cross-training to support your main activity and improve specific areas of fitness. What’s more, it’s an opportunity to try something new and mix up your routine.

 

#1 - Reduced Risk of Injury

cross-training for runners

One of the key cross training benefits is to help you recover from injuries, and help prevent them from occurring in the future. 

Additional exercises can improve the mobility, stability and strength of joints and muscles. It also encourages you not to do the same repetitive activities over and over again, which can often lead to injuries! 

Cross training examples can include partaking in a number of different sports. Tim McGuine, the lead investigator of a study published by the School of Medicine and Public Health, found that high school athletes who specialised in a single sport experienced more lower-extremity injuries. 

From his findings on the advantages of cross-training, McGuine encourages schools to provide more opportunities for diversified athletic play, as students who participated in a variety of sports throughout the year experienced less injuries. 

Focusing on just one exercise activity can overload certain parts of your body with stress, whilst ignoring others. There is a higher chance of injury through repetitive exercises, but incorporating one or two cross training activities can reduce the risk!

Coupling this with a comprehensive understanding of the importance of rest days and how many to take is vital for creating a sustainable and beneficial workout plan.

#2 - Keeps You Motivated

cross-training at home

One of the benefits of cross training is keeping your exercise regime interesting and challenging! It’s easy to overdo your favourite exercise and become complacent or bored, resulting in decreased motivation and performance. 

With cross training activities, you can give yourself a mental break from your main activity and challenge your body to do something different that may make it into your usual routine.

Adding variety also means more flexibility for your routine. If you are injured, in the mood for a different workout, or the weather isn’t ideal for running outside, you can adjust your plan and swap between different activities. 

Variety and flexibility are characteristics that define cross training and will help you stay motivated, avoid burnout, and you’ll be more likely to stick to your fitness goals. 

#3 - Supports Weight Loss

cross-training definition

If your goal is to lose weight, cross training is a great option! Considering that cross training reduces risk of injury and increases motivation levels, it can help you stick to your plans, which can be the most difficult part.

The New England Journal of Medicine examined the effects of aerobic or resistance exercise, or both, in dieting obese older adults. For cross training examples, results showed that combined aerobic and resistance exercise was the most effective workout and participants scored higher in the physical performance test. 

The NHS also recommends a combination of strength and aerobic exercises every week to build overall fitness, lose or maintain a healthy weight, and boost your metabolism, as well as eating foods that help burn fat and speed up our metabolism. There are more calories burned cross training, especially when combining aerobic and strengthening exercises.

This is why one of the benefits of cross training is weight loss, because the body is constantly adapting to the different muscle groups being worked and different types and speeds of movement. 

#4 - Conditions Different Muscle Groups

advantages of cross-training

One of the advantages of cross-training is that it allows you to build muscular fitness as well as aerobic conditioning. It’s an opportunity to work muscle groups that are often ignored in the main activity or exercise, which can ultimately improve performance. 

To examine cross training benefits, a study published by Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise determined whether squat training improved running economy, and thus aerobic endurance and performance. 

Results showed that strength cross training exercises for runners could improve running efficiency and participants could run for a longer period of time without suffering fatigued muscles. 

If your main activity is running, you could complement your routine with lower-body strength training to improve muscle endurance, or practise core strengthening exercises that will help the pelvis, hips and lower back have better support and stability. 

Not only will this aid with your running form and posture, but core strengthening can have numerous benefits that extend beyond exercise into day-to-day life. OriGym have compiled an ultimate guide on how to engage your core, meaning you’ll be experiencing the benefits of a stronger core as quickly as possible.

#5 - Allows You to Stay Fit When Injured

best cross training for runners

One of the key advantages of cross-training is that you can stay fit and even aid recovery if your main activity causes an injury and you need to take a break. However, always consult your doctor or physiotherapist to ensure the exercise won’t lead to more pain! 

You can choose activities that have a different impact or intensity level to your main activity. For running, cross training activities might be cycling or mat-based exercises to keep up muscle strength and endurance, whilst staying low-impact, and ensuring that any existing injuries aren’t aggravated or made worse.  

Maintaining your fitness level can ensure that, once your injury is healed, you can get back into your training. Being unable to run due to injury is a chance to try something new and challenge your body with new activities, as well as experiencing new forms of cardio & aerobic exercises.

Cross training exercises for runners can also avoid disappointment by having another activity to fall back on. Walking is a great substitute, especially if you rely on getting outside and running for mental health benefits, which can make injuries even more frustrating. 

What Makes a Good Cross Training Workout? 

cross training exercises

We’ve covered exactly what is cross training, but how do we make the most out of it? The key is to select exercises that require different movements or muscle groups than your preferred activity. 

Some cross training examples combine high-impact with low-impact. For example, because running is a cardio exercise that is particularly tough on the lower body, you may want to add yoga to focus on flexibility and strength. 

To help you decide on your activity and get the right cross training benefits, your routine should improve your fitness in one or more of the main fitness components: 

Depending on what you want to improve, choose cross fitness training that will target one or two of the fitness components that your main exercise does not already focus on. This will ensure your regime works strength, endurance, balance or flexibility, depending on what your main activity lacks. 

Training these weaknesses will improve muscle balance and avoid overtraining in one exercise. Your additional cross training workout should switch up which muscle groups you work and the level of impact. Exercising has many benefits and cross training can help you achieve plenty of them! 

The best cross training exercises are varied. You can either focus on one activity a day, such as cycling cross training for runners the day after a run to aid recovery, or you can have one exercise session that includes several different exercises. 

You should cross train at least once or twice a week in place of your main activity. Some specific goals you may have and which cross training workouts you could choose include:

  • Strength and resistance = weight training 
  • Endurance = walking, running, cycling or swimming
  • Balance = pilates or bodyweight exercises such as squats, lunges, push ups, planks and glute bridge.
  • Flexibility = yoga, pilates or swimming

Cross Training at the Gym

disadvantages of cross training

If you prefer working out at the gym, it's extremely convenient for a cross training workout routine. The gym offers a whole host of different equipment and classes to help you gain the cross training benefits!

Elliptical trainers, treadmills, cycling machines, rowing machines, weights and resistance machines are all cross training examples that provide a varied, dynamic workout. Utilising a variety of machines and apparatus can allow you to exercise different muscle groups, as well as creating new and interesting options for your routines.

Cross fitness training at the gym will also keep things fresh and stop you from getting bored of the same routines, especially as you’ll be using an array of different equipment.

If you are a beginner and need some guidance, make sure to try a new gym class guided by a professional trainer to add to your cross training regime. You can take it at your own pace, and group exercise benefits you in multiple, surprising ways.

The gym can make it much easier to fit in a good cross training workout if you’re already struggling to make time for your main activity. 

Cross Training at Home

benefits of cross training

If you can’t get to the gym, there are plenty of options for at home cross training workouts that require minimal or no equipment at all! Yoga and pilates are two great options for home-friendly workouts, where you’ll often only need an exercise mat. 

You can also utilise body-weight only exercises such as HIIT and strength training routines. If you live somewhere where you can’t jump up and down and make a lot of noise without disturbing neighbours, there are plenty of low impact HIIT workouts for cross training at home. 

If you have a bike, you can incorporate cycling into your cross training! There are lots of local cycle groups to join and it’s a great way to explore your local area. Alternatively, running is a cheaper and more convenient option for those who don’t go to the gym and have a busy schedule. 

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Enjoying this article so far? Here’s 3 more we think you’ll enjoy

 

Best Cross Training for Runners 

cardio cross training

Let’s look at cross training activities with running as our main activity, and the type of exercises that can complement it. The best cross-training for runners will improve your strength, endurance and aid recovery. 

How much cross training you do will depend on your fitness and goals. You could replace running days with one or two of these exercises, or add extra workouts to your weekly routine. A cross training session can be anywhere between 10 to 60 minutes long. 

If you are cross training for a marathon, you may look for gentler activities to rehabilitate fatigued legs or injuries, or lower body strength training to avoid early muscle fatigue. These exercises form an integral part of how to train for a marathon

However, the most important thing is to not overtrain and go beyond your limits. Understanding your limitations and what you can achieve without overexerting or hurting yourself is crucial when it comes to cross training.

We’ve put together a selection of our favourite cross-training exercises that are beneficial for runners, and how you can implement them as part of your weekly training regime.

Weight or Bodyweight Strength Training

Strength training is one of the best cross training workouts to strengthen running muscles, improve endurance and lower risk of muscle fatigue. 

As we’ve already explored, a strong core is important for runners to maintain good form and stability, as well as ensuring they don’t suffer unnecessary injury. It forms the centre of your body mass, and maintaining and strengthening core muscles means you’ll stay balanced and apportion your weight properly over your muscles.

Completing bodyweight exercises that target the core (such as crunches or burpees) will also create muscle balance, reduce your risk of injury, and is convenient for cross training at home!

Or if you’re not seeing enough results from bodyweight training, OriGym have put together a comprehensive report on the best weighted vests to help with your training.



Cycling or Spinning

advantages and disadvantages of cross training

Cycling is one of the best cross training for runners to build aerobic endurance, whilst being low-impact and less likely to result in lower body injuries. 

This cardio cross training mimics running movements and strengthens the same muscles, specifically the legs (calves and quads), hip flexors, and core, ensuring that these are strengthened when you come to use them for running.

It specifically targets the connective tissues of the knees, hips and ankles, and can help to loosen fatigued leg muscles, resulting in a much shorter recovery time, and a reduced risk of injury. 

Walking

Substituting a run for a long walk can aid recovery and keep stretching and working those muscles, but at a slower, gentler pace. 

This is perfect to help with injuries and still get outside for the mental health benefits of running. While it may seem like you’re not utilising your muscles, you’ll still be strengthening and rehabilitating those muscles that need caring for.

Walking is also a great way to socialise and explore your surroundings while still exercising and working your muscles in a gentle, rehabilitative way.

Furthermore, those who are cross training for a half marathon or marathon may use walking prior to the event to loosen up the legs, and increase blood flow to the muscles they’ll be using. 

Swimming

Swimming is recommended as one of the best cross-training for runners. It’s a full-body workout that builds strength and aerobic fitness. The water adds resistance, supports joints and is therapeutic for fatigued leg muscles. 

With swimming, you are unlikely to get injured or worsen a running injury! It’s the best cross-training for runners to recover from a long run and improve flexibility. 

Unsure? Using a tracker or smart device can provide all the data you need to understand how swimming is benefitting your running form - we’ve compiled a selection of our best swimming trackers.

Yoga

cross training examples

For the best cross training workouts for conditioning, yoga offers meditative and psychological benefits to improve flexibility, strength, stability and balance. 

Stretching and loosening muscles is important for runners to keep up their training and aid recovery. We’ve already discussed how flexibility can help prevent injury and increase performance, and yoga is arguably one of the best ways to achieve this.

Not only is yoga excellent for improving your overall flexibility, it’s one of the most diverse and unique exercises out there, with a vast array of types of yoga styles to suit all tastes and abilities.

It’s also a fantastic opportunity to relax, practice your breathing,  and take a mental break from pounding the pavements.

Pilates

Pilates is an important one on our list of cross training exercises for runners. Invented by Joseph Pilates for rehabilitation and core strength, it targets key muscles and joints to reduce risk of injury and support recovery. 

In a similar vein to yoga, pilates prioritises slower, more exaggerated movements to help minimise injury risk, and extended the muscles and joints to facilitate further exercise. However, while the two are similar, it’s important to understand the difference between pilates and yoga.

Adding one pilates session a week can improve your posture, performance and muscle strength for running, especially with its focus on core strength! 

Sports

Sports are an excellent example of cardio cross training. Activities such as football, tennis and basketball can all improve cardiovascular fitness, endurance and challenge your body in different ways, as well as being varied enough to ensure you don’t lose focus or get bored.

These sports include side-to-side activity (such as the movement across the court in basketball or tennis, or across the pitch in football) and a constant changing of direction, which is an element that running lacks. 

With such a variety of options, all of these sports strengthen different muscles and work the arms and legs, but it’s vital to be mindful of knee and ankle injuries!

Zumba

cross training for marathon

Have you been shying away from the Zumba class at your local gym? At first, group exercise classes can seem intimidating, but once you take the plunge, you’ll start to see just how beneficial it can be some of the best cross-training for runners. 

Adding Zumba to your cross fitness training will increase your heart rate, build cardio endurance, strengthen all muscle groups and improve your coordination! Zumba’s fast paced movements, coupled with its Latin-inspired soundtrack and electric atmosphere, means you’ll never feel bored or unstimulated.

If Zumba sounds like your ideal form of cross training, OriGym have compiled a thorough report on the benefits of Zumba, and how it could be right for you.

 

Elliptical

If you have access to a gym, using the elliptical trainer mimics the motion of running, and by extension allows you to work the same muscles but with a controllable level of intensity and difficulty. 

The machine combines skiing, stair climbing, and walking for a total body workout, including those vital core muscles. You can also choose forward or backward motions to work and challenge different muscles and muscle groups, ensuring you can achieve a full workout. 

We recommend choosing a challenging setting, and increasing the machine’s resistance to work up a sweat. Not only will this help with your movement and muscle strength, but it also increases heart rate and improves your aerobic endurance.

Kayaking/Rowing Machine

cross training benefits

Depending on which one you have access to, kayaking or using the rowing machine at the gym gives the legs a much needed rest while still working the muscles necessary for running. 

Rowing targets upper-body strength (through the movement of rowing or paddling), as well as the hips and glutes (through maintaining a strong core and good posture). Both exercises offer very similar benefits, so if you can’t do one (you don’t have a gym membership, for instance), you can substitute in the other.

Not to mention that it also gives you a mental break from running, allowing your legs to recover, whilst still working up a sweat and targeting muscles that can support your running.

Rollerblading/Ice Skating

Rollerblading or ice skating is similar to the elliptical trainer, in that it predominantly consists of slow, rhythmical movements of the arms and legs that move the body, and maintaining an engaged core throughout. 

Both exercises work your quadriceps, glutes and lower back, which all support better running performance and posture. Posture is vital for any exercise, including running - we’ve put together a full list of the benefits of good posture, and why it’s a good idea to work on it as much as possible. 

Both rollerblading and ice skating are “no impact”, meaning they give the joints a break while boosting cardio and endurance, as well as supporting recovery and rehabilitation from previous injury. 

Cross Training for Beginners

cross training for beginners

It’s easy to get started with cross training! Depending on your main activity, use our guide of cross training examples to choose an exercise and work it into your schedule. The best cross training benefits are the flexibility and modifications that make it suited to your needs. 

OriGym’s helpful tips for improving flexibility offer even more solutions that can aid in your flexibility training.

Your additional activity could be a gym session, yoga, pilates, or cardio cross training such as cycling or swimming - there’s so much to choose from and you can change your cross training exercises any time! 

One of the easiest ways to incorporate cross training is to alternate between activities each day, or do alternative activities in one single workout. For example, one session could be 15 minutes of HIIT cardio followed by 15 minutes of strength training. 

Remember not to completely replace your main activity! When we define cross training, it’s about complementing rather than removing the focus on your main activity. You could cross train the day before your main activity to pre-train, or the day after to help with recovery.

What Are The Disadvantages Of Cross Training?

Although there are many good reasons to start, there are advantages and disadvantages of cross training, especially if you are an athlete and your goal is to excel in one specific sport or activity. 

If you want to try cross training for a marathon, it’s important to not get sidetracked by other activities. Running such long distances requires specific muscle strength, as well as mental and physical endurance, that other activities won’t build in the same way as running. 

It’s important to consider both cross training advantages and disadvantages before trying the regime yourself. We’ve outlined what we feel are a few of the potential disadvantages of cross training, and how you can avoid these pitfalls:

#1 - Takes Focus Away From Your Main Activity

cross fitness training

To further understand the cross-training definition, we need to understand why it’s recommended -  it’s an augmentation for your exercises and for your overall health, as opposed to being something you dedicate a large amount of time to.

Consequently, it might not be right for someone who wants to excel in one specific sport, and therefore wants to devote all their training time to that particular exercise, such as weightlifting. 

We’ve put together a guide on common injuries for weightlifters, and how best to avoid them, if you’re looking to get started on weightlifting in addition to your cross training.

Incorporating cross training in this scenario could result in a loss of focus on overall goals, and therefore a lack of motivation when it comes to exercise

#2 - Costs Money for New Equipment

cross training advantages and disadvantages

While this may not necessarily be a major disadvantage of cross training, it can be a determiner in whether or not you start, especially if you’re training on a tight budget.

You may need to invest in extra equipment or clothing depending on the exercises you choose, such as swimming gear or yoga equipment to get started.

This could also mean even greater expense, especially if you’re buying your own weights, running shoes, or a bike if you want to take up cycling cross training for runners. 

However, given the benefits we’ve just outlined, the exercises can often outweigh the cost. Plus, with the fitness industry constantly changing and growing, it’s becoming more and more affordable to get started with any form of exercise.

#3 - Risks Over-Training

cross training activities

This can be difficult to avoid, especially when cross training means adding activities to your regular routine. It may be easy to fall into the trap of overdoing it with your cross training, and therefore being unable to perform to your full ability in your main exercise.

For instance, instead of complementing your main exercise or switching up a workout, people may feel inclined to try and excel in all exercises and go beyond what is necessary, which can result in overexertion or exhaustion before you’ve even started exercising. 

Our recommendation would be to always be mindful of how much exercise you do and how your body is responding, so you can strike the right balance between cross training and performing your usual workout routine.

This will also ensure you continue to see the results you want to see, and can achieve the right balance between the exercises. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How Often Should I Cross Train? 

calories burned cross training

How often you cross train will depend on your current workout schedule and the amount of free time you have for exercise. Luckily, cross training can be tailored to your needs and you can switch up your routine on a regular basis! 

You could also do one form of exercise a day, or more than one. Just make sure to keep track of what exercises you’re doing so as to not overexert yourself - our guide to the best fitness journals can help you track each and every exercise!

To develop proficiency in your cross training exercise for an effective workout, we recommend aiming to cross train at least once or twice a week. This can either be in place of your usual routine or as additional workouts during the week. 

For example, if you run three times a week, you could swap one run for a yoga session and add an additional workout day for strength training. If you run five times a week, you could exchange one run for a yoga or pilates session. It depends on your goals and how often you want to workout!

How Do I Start Cross Training? 

cycling cross training for runners

Are you looking for advice on cross training for beginners? The flexibility and endless possibilities of creating a regime to suit your needs makes it extremely user-friendly. 

If you are a complete beginner, we suggest starting with a weekly schedule that involves two or three workouts per week of your main or favourite activity. Supplement the three workout days with one to three days of cross training. Be sure to give yourself at least one or more days off each week! 

Check the advantages and disadvantages of cross training that we have covered before starting your training. If you are new to exercising in general, joining a gym class with an instructor will help you understand the exercises, form and modifications. Or take the plunge and sign up for group personal training to get more tailored, detailed feedback.

Is Cross Training The Same As HIIT?

define cross training

As both activities involve doing different types of activities, often within one workout, HIIT and cross training may seem similar. However, cross training goes a bit further than HIIT. 

HIIT workouts focus on increasing stamina, aerobic fitness and building muscle. It involves short, intense periods of exercise with short rest periods between each exercise, ensuring your heart rate stays elevated, and you continue to burn calories. This often includes a mixture of cardio and strength exercises to shed the most calories, and can be a great way to lose weight. 

Cross training aims to improve a wider variety of fitness components such as endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, coordination and power, resulting in a more complete package that supplements other exercise (such as running) and incorporates other elements that can be advantageous, such as the benefits of calisthenics

Although they are both examples of mixed training, cross training is a training routine that can involve several different exercises, whereas HIIT usually revolves centrally around a small set of exercises. 

Does Walking Count As Cross Training?

cross training for half marathon

Walking is a great cardio cross training exercise to complement your favourite activity, especially for runners. It is a low-impact exercise and much kinder on the joints, meaning your muscles get a well-deserved break. 

If you are looking for advice on cross training for beginners, incorporating walking into your routine is a good place to start. It’s a beginners-friendly workout that requires no equipment and can be done anywhere! You can slowly build up the duration of your walks or incorporate hill/stair climbs to build endurance. 

Going for a walk can strengthen your feet, knees and hips, and pushing yourself to walk for longer will boost endurance. Never underestimate the benefits of walking, especially for those who are cross training for marathons and want to keep moving the same muscles without over-training.

It’s also worth noting that, when you go walking, you’ll generally be outside, meaning you can also reap the benefits of outdoor training while only completing what you feel comfortable doing.

Can I Wear Running Shoes For Cross Training? 

best cross training workouts

The type of shoes you wear for cross fitness training ultimately comes down to personal preference. However, although you can use your running shoes for cross training, it may affect performance and comfort. 

Running shoes are built to be lightweight, flexible and springy for running comfort and to support the ankles and knees. The soles are also built to support the foot and are usually thicker than other trainers. OriGym’s exploration of the best cushioned running shoes means you’ll be exercising in exquisite comfort.

In contrast, cross training shoes are typically less flexible, with thinner soles, a flatter heel, and are slightly heavier. This is to provide stability and keep you grounded when lifting weights or performing body-weight strength training activities.

Can I Run And Cross-Train On The Same Day? 

cross training exercises for runners

It is possible to run and cross-train on the same day. However, this will depend on the intensity of your run and the cross training exercise. Performing different activities can lead to more calories burned cross training, so it’s important to be mindful of recovery and replacing nutrients! 

For example, if you choose cycling cross training for runners, cycling the day after may be more beneficial than on the same day, especially if you run long distances. Alternatively, you could compliment a short run with another exercise, such as yoga, pilates or strength training. 

As there are cross training advantages and disadvantages, it’s important to avoid over-training or exhaustion and ensure that you can perform your best in each session to get the most out of a workout. 

Is Cross Training Beneficial For Weight Loss?

examples of cross training

Supporting weight loss is one of the key cross training benefits. For example, aerobic exercises burn calories whilst strength training builds muscle to burn fat. The number of calories burned cross training will depend on your fitness and effort, as well as the intensity of the workout.

A combination of both aerobic and strength training exercises is one of the best cross training workouts to help with weight loss! A study conducted by the Science of Exercise and Sports Psychology journal examined the effects of combining crossfit, pilates and zumba exercise on body composition and body image of women. 

The experimental group were given 30-70 minutes of mixed cross training exercise for 4 days a week throughout a 12 week period. Results showed a definitive decrease in body weight, as well as a marked improvement in body image after the experiment. 

While cross training has proven effective when it comes to weight loss, it’s important to combine this with good foods - our guide to the best healthy high fat foods ensures you’ll still be getting vital nutrients without compromising on flavour.

What Is The Best Cross Training For A Half Marathon Or Marathon?

best cross training exercises

When planning to run a marathon or half marathon, training and preparation can improve performance and reduce risk of injury. Some of the best cross training for half marathon or marathon exercises are water-based workouts such as swimming. 

A study published by the International Journal of Exercise Science examined if a swimming training program could improve runners’ breathing capacity. The runners who participated in the swimming training program experiment had increased oxygen capacity and thus improved running performance. 

As well as breathing, water is also therapeutic on the joints and gives the legs a break from high-impact running. It can also improve a runner’s endurance, range of motion and benefits muscles that aren’t generally strengthened by running. 

Before You Go!

If you’re losing motivation in your favourite sport or activity, or noticing areas where you want to improve, cross training could be the perfect regime for you! It’s an enjoyable, challenging way to work different muscle groups and improve overall health. 

For athletes that specialise in one sport, weighing up cross training advantages and disadvantages can help you decide if it’s right for you. Overtraining or taking focus away from your activity may lead to reduced performance, rather than improved!

But if you consider yourself to already have a comprehensive understanding of fitness, and want to apply that expertise, then a career in fitness could be your calling.

OriGym’s world-leading personal training courses offer unparalleled benefits, such as unlimited career support and guaranteed post-course interviews, all for the lowest price on the market.

Interested? Download our FREE prospectus, and learn more about us and what we offer.

References

  1. Gian Galassi, Study shows sports specialization may lead to more lower extremity injuries. School of Medicine and Public Health (2017). Available at: https://www.med.wisc.edu/news-and-events/2017/july/sports-specialization-and-lower-extremity-injuries/ 
  2. Dennis T. Villareal, Lina Aguirre, A. Burke Gurney, Debra L. Waters, David R. Sinacore, Elizabeth Colombo, Reina Armamento-Villareal, and Clifford Qualls, Aerobic or Resistance Exercise, or Both, in Dieting Obese Older Adults (2017). Available at: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1616338 
  3. Jon Hoff, Maximal strength training enhances running economy and aerobic endurance performance (2001). Available at: https://journals.lww.com/acsm-msse/Fulltext/2001/05001/MAXIMAL_STRENGTH_TRAINING_ENHANCES_RUNNING_ECONOMY.1529.aspx 
  4. Gülsüm BAŞTUĞ, Rabia ÖZCAN, Duygu GÜLTEKİN, Ömer GÜNAY, The effects of Cross-fit, Pilates and Zumba exercise on body composition and body image of women (2016). Available at: https://dergipark.org.tr/en/pub/useeabd/issue/21666/233173 
  5. C Swenson, M Agre, Effects of swimming on forced vital capacity in runners (2015). Available at: https://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijesab/vol12/iss1/18/ 

Written by Jessica Greenall

Content Writer & Fitness Enthusiast

Jess studied English and American Literature and Drama at University of Kent, graduating with first-class honours degree. She went on to gain experience in content marketing, copywriting and journalism, and has written for a variety of organisations and websites. Her passion for health and fitness led her to OriGym. She is particularly interested in the benefits of exercise and nutrition on mental health and wellbeing. Alongside writing, Jess is an English teacher and she enjoys cycling, swimming, hiking, yoga and learning languages in her spare time. 

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